• Date awarded: December 2020
  • Awarded value: £180,000
  • Fund: COVID-19 Donation and General Fund
  • Location: Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Official opening of the roof top Critical Care Recovery Garden, ICU, Victoria Hospital. Left to right, Dr Lucy Hogg, Consultant, ICU & Anaesthesia, NHS Fife; Cicely Leeuwenberg, Garden Designer; Tricia Marwick, Chair, Fife Health Charity, Margo McGurk, Director, Finance & Strategy.

An existing roof space area adjacent to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Victoria Hospital has been developed into a recovery garden for use by ICU patients, their families and ICU staff.

The only critical care unit in Fife, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Victoria Hospital serves the Kingdom's population and admits around 400 critically ill patients every year.

Pioneered by ICU staff and funded by Fife Health Charity, the £180,000 project to design and create the Critical Care Recovery Garden transformed an existing vacant roof space next to ICU, providing a dedicated garden area for the use of ICU patients, their loved ones and staff. The project reflects Fife Health Charity’s core aim to enhance the wellbeing of those who rely on and work for NHS Fife.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many healthcare issues to the fore, including the positive benefits that spending time outdoors brings to physical and mental health wellbeing. 

Features within the Critical Care Recovery Garden include living walls of evergreen plants, tubs and planters filled with a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs and all-weather tables and seating located in different areas offering visitors and staff the opportunity to sit alone or gather in small groups.

Declaring the Critical Care Recovery Garden officially open and paying tribute to the donors who made the project possible, Chair of Fife Health Charity, Tricia Marwick, said:

"The work and growing impact of Fife Health Charity is made possible by the tremendous generosity and kindness of the charity’s donors. Many wish to recognise the quality of NHS Fife care and support given by staff when people are often at their most vulnerable and even when circumstances are challenging, as they were during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The project to create the Critical Care Recovery Garden would not have been possible without the generosity of two anonymous benefactors who made a significant donation to the charity to support NHS Fife’s staff and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic." 

The difference our funding is making

It is recognised that ICU is a very demanding and stressful environment for patients, families and the staff who work there. Prior to creating the new garden, no outdoors space was available for relaxation and contemplation. 

The creation of the welcoming and attractive outdoor space offers ICU patients and their loved ones a peaceful haven that can be accessed and enjoyed at any time of day, all year round, and provides a respite for staff during their breaks.

The garden is already proving a great boost to staff morale for those who worked tirelessly in difficult circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Already on its way to becoming fully established, the garden will continue to make a real difference to the experience and wellbeing of people visiting ICU and the staff who work there during what can often be stressful and uncertain times.